Dance: Kaleidoscope

Some of the dancers of ?Keltic Shock.?

MiMi Yeh

Some of the dancers of ?Keltic Shock.?

MiMi Yeh

Welcome to Kaleidescope, the visual variety show directed by Anne Tolbert, incorporating dancers of all levels of skill. This performance was put on by the students of the Dance Theater Workshop, demonstrating a number of different styles and flavors.

From Irish step dancing to classical ballet, to saucy erotic Latin numbers, Kaleidoscope managed to encompass a worldly range of styles for such a short span of time within the semester. The mixing of experienced and novice dancers made for an interesting contrast in the smooth polished moves of the former and the high-energy enthusiasm of the latter.

In “Push/Pull,” choreographed by Donald Braho, Braho and Sarah Lamont pair up to “She Bangs” by Ricky Martin, teasing and taunting each other into submission before an amused audience. Spinning and whirling about the stage, this number let these two strut their stuff in a traditional, cultural style.

The visual creativity was not limited to body movement either. With “Walkabout,” the dancers came together beneath an imaginary jungle canopy of the green tinted, light speckled set. The rain pounded and the birds called out as Samantha Corman, Megan Foster, and Kathleen Welch moved to the impassioned rhythm of the winds. Then, decked out in a Tarzan-like costume, was Michael Bailey, agilely spinning and crouching gently surprisingly enough with his large, muscular frame. A lithe and compact Ruth Shiman-Hackett partnered up with him before we come in a full circle and return to the latter trio. Throughout this number, the forest is stirred into frenzy before it falls silent on the closing steps of these talented dancers.

The program was deceptive, starting off somewhat slow. “Rounds” and “Stop Your Crying” failed to stir the audience greatly, but by the third number, “Keltic Shock,” they were clapping their hands and tapping their toes throughout this flurry of fast feet and glittering skirts. After that, time flew by so quickly that it was intermission before they knew it.

Not only was there an unusual mesh of themes and backgrounds but music as well. A certain amount of pop and modern dotted the program with Jennifer Lopez’s “Waiting For Tonight,” Moby’s “Natural Blues,” and music by Portishead as well as feral and naturalistic “Winds of Change” with it’s pounding beats and jungle-like sounds.

“Drop” featured a candy-cane colored crew of ladies sporting matching outfits and synchronized dance routines. Grooving to “Fatman Scoop and Crooklyn Klan,” these wild women (Charlene Cooper, Tamara Shillingford, Connie Chicha, Suzanne Grant, Lekia Wikina, and Sherlette Samuels) showed the audience their fast-paced, fashion was well-matched with sexy, shaking hips.

The aforementioned Portishead piece provides an aural backdrop for “Changes” a dancing duet featuring Sarah Lamont and Inga Sheaffer in strange, graceful poses, as one shadowed the other in their seemingly unearthly movements beneath the eerie lighting. Their ghostly gestures fit with their long-flowing skirts.

While certain numbers stretched the boundaries, proving a little too sophisticated for the audience, they were well entertained by the skill demonstrated by the dance company. Special recognition goes to “Red is…” showing the students of Mansfield High School in full glory. Flipping flags larger than they are to “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” the dazzling amount of flag and costume colors served to truly prove just what a kaleidoscope, Kaleidoscope was.